Have Yourself A Mad Little Christmas…

Have Yourself A Mad Little Christmas!
Have Yourself A Mad Little Christmas!

Have you considered buying mad for the holidays?  Now, we don’t mean spending mad money – I mean who has that these days? – but if you have enjoyed this blog, and the tips and mini workshops, you might wish to reward the mad ones by putting a little money in our pockets.  I mean, we writers are insubstantial creatures of thought and imagination and… no, wait, we’re not, and we need to eat.  Also, you wouldn’t believe the wear and tear on the straight jackets, around here.

We don’t have a tip jar up, but we make our living from writing — and if you want to make us happy, you’ll throw a few shekels our way.  We are d*mn good value in entertainment too.  So, below, there’s a list of books you might want to buy.

Say your fancy lightly turns to light fantasy.  Okay, I lie, my (Sarah’s) first books are about as light as that fruitcake that your aunt Minnie used to make, all soaked in rum and stuff.  Yeah, that one.  With that, Jerry Pournelle once said they were the most charming of the Hoyt body of work, so who knows, it might be up your alley.

Ill Met By Moonlight

When Will Shakespeare comes over to find his new wife and his just-born daughter missing, little does he know that it will plunge him into an adventure involving the Byzantine intrigues of the descendants of Titania and Oberon or that it will change his life forever.

“Will stopped at the entrance to the garden, his hand on the rickety wooden gate.  A feeling of doom came over him like the presage of some evil thing. ”

On the other hand, let’s say that what you want is … more… Noir Fantasy.  You could do worse than

You can’t keep a tough Pixie down… Pixie Noir
Lom is a bounty hunter, paid to bring magical creatures of all descriptions back Underhill, to prevent war with humans should they discover the strangers amongst them. Bella is about to find out she’s a real life fairy princess, but all she wants to do is live peacefully in Alaska, where the biggest problems are hungry grizzly bears. He has to bring her in. It’s nothing personal, it’s his job…
“They had almost had me, that once. I’d been young and foolish, trying to do something heroic, of course. I wouldn’t do that again anytime soon. Now, I work for duty, but nothing more than is necessary to fulfill the family debt. I get paid, which makes me a bounty hunter, but she’s about to teach me about honor. Like all lessons, this one was going to hurt. Fortunately, I have a good gun to fill my hand, and if I have to go, she has been good to look at.”
Okay, still not right?  you want something FUNNY?  Well, you can’t go wrong with Kate Paulk’s Con series, the first one being ConVent (because it is a vent about cons.)
A vampire, a werewolf, an undercover angel and his succubus squeeze. Whoever picked this team to save the world wasn’t thinking of sending the very best. But then, since this particular threat to the universe and everything good is being staged in science fiction conventions, amid people in costume, misfits and creative geniuses, any conventional hero would have stood out. Now Jim, the vampire, and his unlikely sidekicks have to beat the clock to find out who’s sacrificing con goers before all hell breaks loose — literally.
ConVent is proof that Kate Paulk’s brain works in wonderfully mysterious ways. A sarcastic vampire, his werewolf best buddy, an undercover angel and his succubus squeeze. The “Save the world” department really messed it up this time.
You prefer something more… solid?  Well, you can try Amanda Green’s fantasy/police procedural:
Some things can never be forgotten, no matter how hard you try.

Detective Sergeant Mackenzie Santos knows that bitter lesson all too well. The day she died changed her life and her perception of the world forever.It doesn’t matter that everyone, even her doctors, believe a miracle occurred when she awoke in the hospital morgue. Mac knows better. It hadn’t been a miracle, at least not a holy one. As far as she’s concerned, that’s the day the dogs of Hell came for her.

Investigating one of the most horrendous murders in recent Dallas history, Mac also has to break in a new partner and deal with nosy reporters who follow her every move and who publish confidential details of the investigation without a qualm.

Complicating matters even more, Mac learns the truth about her family and herself, a truth that forces her to deal with the monster within, as well as those on the outside.But none of this matters as much as discovering the identity of the murderer before he can kill again. Still not happy?  How about Kate Paulk’s POINTED historical fantasy?

Impaler by Kate Paulk revisits the tale of Vlad Dracul, also known as Vlad Tepes and Vlad the Impaler. This is the tale of historical fact mixed with fiction and a touch of fantasy. But this is most definitely not the tired tale of vampires skulking in the night, lying in wait for innocent victims. Impaler tells the tale of a man devoted to family and country, cursed and looking for redemption.
December, 1476. The only man feared by the all-conquering Ottoman Sultan battles to reclaim his throne. If he falls all of Europe lies open to the Ottoman armies. If he succeeds…
His army is outnumbered and outclassed, his country is tiny, and he is haunted by a terrible curse. But Vlad Draculea will risk everything on one almost impossible chance to free his people from the hated Ottoman Empire.
Or how about a bit of mystery, a bit of humor, an urban fantasy as it should be done:
A humorous, satirical noir detective urban fantasy, set in a small city in flyover country, which has an unusually high population of Trolls, werewolves, fairies and a dwarf.
Private Investigator Bolg, a Pictish gentleman who happens to be vertically challenging, a self-proclaimed dwarf and tattooed so heavily he appears blue, finds himself called on undertake paranormal cases: in this case tracing the Vampire bride’s absconded or kidnapped groom.
The groom should have been a troll by the name of Billy Gruff, the manager and owner of the Ricketty-Racketty Club – a topless bar and nightclub. Bolg finds himself, and his client embroiled in murder, extortion and a Celtic wizard. The latter is supposedly helping him, but wizard’s help is not always what it you think it will be.
No?  Science Fiction, then?
Across the one human colony world, a place technologically regressed to near medieval, possibly the last place humans still survive, a desperate search continues. Scattered across the deserts, tangled jungles, and alien fortresses, lie the core sections of the matter transmitter.
These sections hold the key to vast wealth, power, or… the fulfilment of the colony’s purpose: to help humankind survive the rabidly xenophobic alien Morkth who will tolerate no other intelligent species. The Morkth managed to follow the colony ship, and, despite their mothership being shot down and their queen being killed, they continue their relentless struggle to destroy humankind… and to reconstruct that incredibly valuable matter transmitter. If they succeed, they’ll be able to return to the hive with the location of the colony of vile humans, and have a new world to occupy. If they fail, they’ll destroy the planet.
The search has gone on for centuries, and it is all reaching an end point. The future hangs in the balance.
The Morkth have lasers, aircraft, nukes. Those who want the core sections for their own ends… have vast armies. Against them are three unlikely reluctant heroes: A street child thief, a dispossessed spoiled brat of a princess, and a confused, amoral Morkth-raised human, armed only with 14th century weapons and their own wits.
It’s a lost cause, a forlorn hope.
But it’s all humans have.
But say your taste runs more to… more conventional Urban Fantasy.  You might want to give Ellie Ferguson’s (Mad Friend) Hunted just a try.
When Meg Finley’s parents died, the authorities classified it as a double suicide. Alone, hurting and suddenly the object of the clan’s alpha’s desire, her life was a nightmare. He didn’t care that she was grieving any more than he cared that she was only fifteen. So she’d run and she’d been running ever since. But now, years later, her luck’s run out. The alpha’s trackers have found her and they’re under orders to bring her back, no matter what.

Without warning, Meg finds herself in a game of cat and mouse with the trackers in a downtown Dallas parking garage. She’s learned a lot over the years but, without help, it might not be enough to escape a fate she knows will be worse than death. What she didn’t expect was that help would come from the local clan leader. But would he turn out to be her savior or something else, something much more dangerous?

“They were there.  I knew it as soon as I stepped outside.  Despite all the precautions I’d taken, despite all the times I’d moved and left no forwarding address, they’d found me– again.”
Oh, you’re not into fantastical literature?  (As opposed to fantastic literature)
Then perhaps you want to consider Sarah Hoyt’s Musketeer Mysteries, now being reprinted/re-released by Goldport Press, with the promise that the Sixth book will FINALLY be written and released?
When Athos, Porthos, Aramis and their new friend D’Artagnan find the body of a woman who looks exactly like the Queen of France, they can hardly ignore it.  But solving the murder will plunge them into a maelstrom of intrigue that will rock the crowns of two countries, and bring very personal danger into their lives.
And finally, if you’re looking for something YA, it might be time to consider Cedar’s
12-year-old Linnea Vulkane is looking forward to a long, lazy summer on Grandpa Heph’s farm, watching newborn kittens grow up and helping out with chores. That all goes out the window the night Mars, god of war, demands her grandfather abandon her and return to Olympus for the brewing war.
Now Old Vulcan is racing around the world and across higher planes with Sehkmet to gather allies, leaving Linn and an old immortal friend to protect the farm and the very special litter. But even the best wards won’t last forever, and when the farm goes up in flames, she is on the run with a daypack, a strange horse, a sword, and an armful of kittens. Linn needs to grow up fast and master her powers, before the war finds the unlikely refugees…


  1. Too late Sarah! I already bought Death of a Musketeer today! HA!


    That is the first one right?

    Oh and I’ll second Sarah’s recommendations of ConVent (althought I”d read ConFur first. It’s a short story, but it’s the prequel and it’s not only a good story, it’s really affordable too! ConVent is a good story on it’s own though too.)

    I own a bunch of stuff by Dave Freer too and it’s all awesome but, oddly, I haven’t tried the stuff that Sarah recommended yet. Hmm… Where’s that pesky little debit car at?

    Anybody else wondering if Sarah posted this on Friday, which is the most common payday with malice aforethought? She is a pretty smart woman…

    (And hey, I’m in sales. I’d do it too.)

    1. I’ll third ConVent. You don’t have to be in the Con scene to enjoy the book, although if you are, you’ll probably laugh more (and in different places). And I second “Vulcan’s Kittens.”

  2. I already have all of those? Well, except for the second edition of Musketeer. Are you done fiddling with it?

  3. Found three listed that I don’t have, well… six but I haven’t finished Pixie yet and there is so much on the android still unopened, How about January first for the last three. Just kidding, will catch up ASAP.

  4. Really wish more of these books were available in epub format through Barnes & Noble. The more steps I have to take in order to get an ebook moved to my Nook reader, the less likely I am to buy it, and given that sometimes even if Amazon says the book has lending enabled it still triggers the DRM flag in Calibre, it’s not worth taking the risk on a new author, or sometimes even a known author. I bought Peter Grant’s first Maxwell book at Amazon and converted it successfully, then when I bought the 2nd in the series, Calibre would not convert it. Had to read it on my laptop, which is quite a bit more cumbersome than my Nook. It’s wonderful that it’s so easy for all the independents to publish now on Amazon, but the proprietary format is a real bear for some of us without Kindles.

    1. Jon, google for Apprentice Alf. “He” has tools for removing DRM from Kindle ebooks, B&N ebooks, epubs, etc. This included plug-ins for Calibre.

      1. Downloaded the tools from Alf’s. Calibre doesn’t like the plugin and won’t install it. From the error message, I’m guessing it’s a 32 bit plugin and my version of Calibre is 64 bit.

        1. I don’t know about the “plug-ins” as I use the tools to remove the DRM and then send the Kindle ebook through Calibre.

          On the other hand, there may be a way to contact Alf for help.

  5. Well, I’ve read “The Forlorn” and really liked it. I’ve started “Ill Met by Moonlight”, but haven’t finished it yet. What I have read is good! “Pixie Noir” is on my wish list, and I should get the epub or mobi edition from my wife for Christmas. The rest will have to wait until I have more than $.78 in my bank account.

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